Pressure Cooker Pea and Ham Hock Soup

This can produce more than one dish as you can cook any size ham hock and use the cooked leftovers for a salad or sandwich, putting as much ham as you fancy into the soup. Hocks currently cost anything from about £6.00 for up to a kilo but remembering there is a bone in the hock (which adds flavour) this is considerably cheaper and tastier than buying reformed ham slices or shredded hock from the supermarket. Purchases of ham hock are generally exclusively at a butcher who is usually very pleased to advise on cooking, cuts and economically sound advice on purchases.

Pressure Cooker
Bowl to soak peas
Plate to pop on top of bowl
Chopping board and knife
Heatproof spoon

Uncooked ham hock or small gammon joint (don’t worry about weight too much when buying hocks are fairly standard in size usually about 1.5lbs, or 1kg)
300g dried marrowfat peas
Salt and pepper
Optional creme fraichê

First cook the ham. Put sufficient water in the pressure cooker to just cover the trivet, or rack if using and place the ham on it. Cook for 15 minutes per 450g on a high-pressure setting. Meanwhile put the marrowfat peas into the bowl and cover with water so that there’s plenty of room for rehydration, pop into the fridge with a plate on top to soak for 12 hours.

Once the ham has been cooked for the required time depressurise the pressure cooker, or allow it to depressurise naturally. Allow the ham to cool and then refrigerate.

Cutting the ham when completely cold from the fridge is much easier than when it’s warm and you are likely to get more structured slices if you want to reserve some for sandwiches, so doing this the day before is useful.

Rinse the soaked peas and add to the pressure cooker pan without the trivet and cover with sufficient water to allow for a 3 cm clearance above the peas. Cook for 20 minutes on high and allow the pressure cooker to decompress naturally or cook for 30 minutes and decompress either using the decompression setting, or carefully running cold water over the pan. Whilst the peas are cooking weigh out approximately 200g trimmed ham. Finding a fatty lump in soup is unpleasant so trim the fat off really well!

If the consistency of the peas is what you’re looking for then add the chopped ham and warm with the lid off. If it’s too thick you can dilute with a little stock. Taste for seasoning – I rarely add anything other than pepper as the ham introduces a salty taste of it’s own.

Serve when the ham is thoroughly heated. If using add a swirl of creme fraichê to individual bowls.

If you want to make this more substantial add chopped cooked potatoes and other veg such as carrots or any leftovers you may have.